Stockton, Calif. – The Pacific Cross Country team will send four runners to the NCAA Regionals in Stanford, Calif. on Saturday, Nov. 12. Senior Jazmin Quiroz, sophomore Melissa Hopper, and freshmen Katie Castro and Rebecca Tuttle will be the Tigers running with some of the nations top student-athletes.
This will be Quiroz last race after an impressive four years in the Tiger uniform. She ran at the NCAA Regionals in Oregon last year to conclude the 2010 season, finishing with a time of 24:55.33. Head coach Josh Jones is excited to watch his senior get out there for one final race saying, "Jazmin has been with me since I got here. She is a competitor and I will be looking for a strong time out of here." He added, "I think she will be extra motivated since it is her final race, and I can't wait to see her out there."
Hopper is the only other Tiger runner returning to regionals from last season where she finished with a time of 23:42.07. After a season of battling an injury and health setbacks Hopper is on schedule to peak in Stanford. Jones said of his sophomore, "she should be ready to go. I am excited to see her finally peak after a season filled with obstacles."
Castro will be competing in her first ever NCAA Regionals after a season filled with highlights and individual accomplishments. The freshman from Los Gatos, Calif. has already led the team to a new all-time Pacific team record time at the Big West Championships. At the conference championships she also set the all-time Tiger freshman record with a time of 23:08 in Riverside, Calif.
Tuttle will also be in her first ever NCAA Regionals competition. The freshman from Irvine, Calif. was a major reason the Tigers set the all-time school mark two weeks ago. Jones said of his young runner, "if she takes off a little slower, she will run an excellent time. It will be interesting to see how she finishes the season."
Before his teams final race Jones recapped the season to this point saying, "there was a huge growth this season. I had the same feeling after the 2010 campaign, but this year was even beyond that." He added, "we are continually improving our team time and that is always a goal. I can't wait to watch these four student-athletes run one final race to cap off this historical season."